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A culinary incursion in Turkey

I’m not exactly what you’d call a foodie… don’t get me wrong, I do eat. But being a vegetarian is sometimes quite challenging when you visit some countries. You won’t catch me looking for exotic street food either…

However, just like JoAnna Haugen (WhyGo Las Vegas writer) point out in How I Travel, food edition , “I like to eat local when I travel”. And that is both healthy and rather adventurous when you visit Turkey.

At first glance, Turkey conjures images of coffee, lokum and kebab. But there’s so much more to it. The day starts with breakfast, which typically comprises fresh tomatoes, white cheese, black olives, bread with honey and jam, and sometimes an egg. Lunch comprises some sort of protein – fish, lamb or chicken – baked with peppers and eggplant, and served with rice. Dinners start with the appetizers (similar with the Greek mezedes) which include eggplant dip, salads sardines rolled in grape leaves, and “kofte”, or spiced lamb meatballs. Dessert is typically fresh fruit but the baklava is to die for.

What shouldn’t you miss trying while visiting the country? By all means try the Doner Kebab, the “kofte” – finely minced meat mixed with spices, onions and other ingredients, shaped by hand, and grilled, fried, boiled or baked – , dolma (similar to the Greek dolmades) and the baklava. Also, try the tea and the Turkish coffee. Wines are also good here and if you want something stronger, raki is a good choice.

Has your mouth watered enough to start looking for cheap Istanbul flights ?

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